Families & the Community Research Center Reports

Parents and Schools During a Pandemic: Results of a National Survey

May 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has altered schooling in unprecedented ways. As schools moved rapidly from in-person instruction to remote learning in early 2020, educators and policymakers faced a host of new challenges. They had to deliver online instruction, try to ensure students had access to the internet and devices, and address the social-emotional needs of young people amidst the disruption and isolation prompted by the pandemic. Education leaders ultimately had to also develop plans and protocols intended to keep students safe from the virus when their schools would reopen for in-person instruction.

As educators grappled with such dramatic changes and challenges, an important question emerged: How do parents view schools’ response to the pandemic? To learn more, the EdWeek Research Center surveyed more than 2,000 parents whose children attended public and private K-12 schools. The nationally representative survey, which was conducted August 17-24 of 2020, sheds light on how parents thought about a range of key educational issues at a time when the pandemic stretched into the start of the 2020-21 school year. This report details findings from the survey.

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Coverage of strategies for advancing the opportunities for students most at need, including those from low-income families and communities is supported by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, at www.waltonk12.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.